Although software house Adobe has withdrawn its support for the controversial prosecution of Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov, it looks like the US Department of Justice (DoJ) is set to go ahead with the case.
After overwhelming protest from the internet community last week, Adobe decided to abandon its case to prosecute Sklyarov for copyright infringement.
But after a meeting between the DoJ and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) last Friday, the US government appears unlikely to let go so easily, suggesting the next few months will see a court case that will test the mettle of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
After the meeting, a statement from the EFF read: "The U.S. attorney's office gave no indication of dropping the prosecution against Dmitry Sklyarov."
The cryptographer was arrested by the FBI at the DefCon conference under charges of copyright infringement after demonstrating inherent weaknesses in Adobe's eBook encryption software.
Sklyarov has since become an internet celebrity, with "Free Dmitry" support sites mushrooming all over the web.
If Sklyarov is found guilty, he could face up to five years in prison and a $500,000 fine.
There is also some speculation that Sklyarov might be made an example of. It has emerged that attorney Robert Mueller, who issued the arrest warrant for the programmer, is president Bush's nominee to be the next head of the FBI, and as a result wants to be seen as tough on cybercrime.
But security firm @stake has reported that leading industry cryptographers are being publicly critical of the DMCA and the DoJ's action: "Welcome to 21st century America, where the profits of the major record labels, movie houses, and publishing companies are more important than First Amendment rights," said Bruce Schneier.
@stake said this opinion was also supported by Richard Stallman, godfather of the Open Source movement, who said: "I hope this case will show the world that the DMCA is an outrageous attack on civil liberties."
In light of the situation, the EFF has stepped up its protest by organising a rally outside the federal courthouse in San Francisco at 11.00am today (US time).
Another protest will take place in Los Angeles at the same time, outside the offices of Senator Dianne Feinstein, a prominent DMCA supporter.
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